A friend for life

I’ll give you advance warning, you almost certainly havent heard this song before, so please listen. This gentleman was a big star back in the 70’s, but is still turning out high quality, new music today, as this proves. Steve Harley, musical genius. Whether he was ever as arrogant as his 70’s persona, I have no idea, but it all seems gone now, regardless.

OK, stop pleading, and get back to the blog. Can you have a friend for life, who has been dead for 28 years? If so, I saw a friends gravestone today. If you cant, I saw the gravestone of a brilliant, under rated actress today. Alright, so maybe her antics led to that rating, by all comments, she was hell to deal with back then, and from the interview made in the 70’s, and her other antics, its not hard to doubt it was true.

Yes, amongst many things today, I visited the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, just outside Rochester. Her grave took a bit more finding than I expected, but of course you have to allow for the fact that she probably had little money at the time of her death, so no big stone. Finding the section was easy, the map printed off at the Cemetery clearly marked that, but once you get to that area, the fun begins! There were more than a few stones there lol!

Staff helped me, but confusion still set in, because the map shows her as Mary Brooks, but the stone says Louise Brooks, so the poor man trying to help me, didnt catch on immediately. Thankfully there was another, who knew who I wanted, and this regularly visited stone finally got another visit. A peaceful moment, it wasnt, the reason I had so many helpers was that they were cutting the grass in that section when I was there. The setting would have been beautiful, but for the noise though. Yes, I said a few words, and no, unsurprisingly, I got no reply. Finally, I touched the stone, said thank you, and walked away, a poignant moment.

I had earlier had another poignant moment, revisiting the shore of Lake Ontario after 25 years. I’m pretty sure it wasnt the same spot, but after 25 years, well, who knows? A lot has changed since then for me, but the lake looked much the same. A beautiful, warm day, I stood there, even by the lake, just in a light blouse, wow! Tomorrow, rain, possible thunderstorm, normal service is resumed lol!

I dont know if Louise can count as a friend for life, especially given her record for getting on with people over the years, but…as I said, a lovely song, a great singer

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Her house, in the middle of the street

Oh come on, you know whose house I’m talking about, surely? yes, Louise Brooks, for the 1% who didnt know lol!

Thanks to Google, I’d managed to find the address given for Louise Brooks’s residence in Rochester. If you want to look it up, google it, its not hard to find! Dont try finding the Wichita one though, the house no longer is there. So what did I know, it was an apartment block, and I had the address. Beyond that, not a clue, but I thought there might be a plaque or something at least, to help in the search.

Actually, the search wasnt a hard one, as soon as I turned onto the street, there was a large apartment block there, and I didnt have to be a genius to work out that was the one, it was the only one in the vicinity. But beyond that, any landmark, no, not one. The only sign, one to say not to park in front of the building, and that was it. And certainly no helpful ghostly face looking out of a window either lol! Of course, unless she had one with a front view, she could have been doing so, I wouldnt have seen it.

No, no plaque, or anything. But I knew all the same. Yes, very boring apartment block, with one famous moment in history. Tomorrow, hopefully her grave is better marked than that.

The video, well you might work it out from the title, but if not, see below.

I found it, and its cold!

Yes, America. Well, Rochester at least is, didnt even reach 45 today, and yet some daft soul still went to the baseball, and got frozen to the marrow. It wasnt quite so bad walking around town at least, but just sat at the stadium, eek! Yes, I found Rochester, just where I expected it to be, though with a bit of a delay last night courtesy of Jet Blue. Made it finally though, and hotel seems fine. Strangely enough, no sighting of Louise Brooks as yet, ghostly or otherwise, but fingers might be crossed. Maybe she’s just waiting for me to visit her graveside, but somehow I doubt it. Did hear a knock on the room door about 3 this morning, and a womans voice, but it didnt sound like her lol! No, I didnt investigate lol, maybe I should have done?

Yes, I’m stupid, despite the low temperatures, I still went to the baseball today. Yes, I know, and yes, I got frozen sitting there watching. It was a double header, but one game was all I could take in that weather! Rochester seemed shut on a Sunday, a surprise to someone like me, who is used to pretty much all shops being open on a Sunday at home. Hopefully more life tomorrow, and it should be warmer at least, forecast to reach 63, which will be tropical after today!

No, sadly, I didnt find anywhere advertising full Louise Brooks style makeovers in town, but maybe that place was just shut too? Somehow I doubt it exists lol, but I can hope, until tomorrow at least!

Think thats about it for now, but I’ll save the obvious video for later in the week. So settling for an oldie, that some might say have mind control connotations…

To look for America

Yes, thats what I’ll be doing on Saturday, looking out for America. Snag is, at 35,000 feet, there arent too many signs to say that you’re entering US airspace lol! I know, they have that map thing on the planes, but lets face it, telling exactly when you cross into the US isnt quite as easy as that. I will know, clouds permitting when we reach Canada though lol. I’ll know when I actually land on US soil though, at New York, unless the plane has the most unique landing system known! Funnily enough, it will be a moment of deja vu, as the first time I left US soil, it was from JFK, and that was 25 years ago. And do you know, I havent been back there since, before Saturday. And of course, one week later, it will again be the last piece of US soil seen by me for a while. Who knows, I might even get back there again, in less than 25 years from now! I suspect I wont be travelling like that by then anyway, given I’ll be 80 by then!

Its a funny thing though, if my ancestors, just over 100 years ago had gone west from Ireland, instead of east, well, I wonder where I’d be now? Maybe I’d be holidaying regularly in England lol! Probably not, but…

Its fair to say that this year, not only am I looking for America, I’m looking for one specific person from America, and yes, its not hard for regular readers to know her name, Louise Brooks. Thats why I’m heading for Rochester on Saturday, and Kansas in September! Yes, I know, in her life sense, its the wrong way round, but anyway…I’m looking forward to it, a return to Rochester after 25 years too, though as far as I can remember, all I saw then was the route to Lake Ontario, and the lake itself, on the way out, and a motel just off the interstate on the way back. So saying its a return visit may be pushing it a bit lol!

Ah, the video, yes, as so often, the title is a giveaway. Finding an original live performance of this, no, I failed, hardly surprisingly. But this is definitely live, so…

Far, far away

Well, why not, it makes for a good title, and it will be true in just over a week from now? it also gives away the song in the video, but thats old enough not to be recognised by all, I suspect?

Just a week from now, I will have left home, to start the journey to America. I know, I could do the Simon & Garfunkel song of that name, maybe I will the end of next week, or while I’m away, as its certainly what I do. Even more so, as this time I will be going on a Greyhound bus, for the first time, for the day trip to and from Buffalo. Yes, I’d rather do it by train if I had a choice, but that doesnt work schedule wise.

Oh, and no, no offers of a dinner companion as yet lol, shock horror!

Yes, the social rush is about to start, as after the week after next, I have the OMD concert in early May, and the trip to Ireland for cricket in June. Then all goes quiet until September, when it will be Kansas (somewhere, over the rainbow?), though I’m not sure of the full details on that one yet. I suspect that will be one of the matters discussed when I either see Kate when over there, or more likely, speak to her on the phone while there.

Only thing I hope for, is reasonable weather, could do with some of that. Oh, and the chance to catch up on sleep! Beyond that, some fun, and some due respect too.

The video, is only depressing in that I remember it coming out, and thats nearly 40 years ago now. Ah well… where I will be a week tomorrow

Dinner companion

Its funny, I so often get the same reaction when I tell people I’m going to the US on holiday, they ask who I’m going with, and then look surprised when I say I’m going on my own! I mean, its not like I have a partner, I dont have that many close friends, so what do they expect? The amount of times I get that funny look, and the comment of ‘Oh, you’re brave’ is nobodys business! And I know its down to that, because last September, when teaming up with Kate again, no one even blinked at the idea of meeting up with someone I mainly knew through an Internet forum, and if they knew what it related to lol…

Alright, it was the second year running, but I got the same reaction the previous year, when I certainly didnt know who I was meeting up with, just amuses me. In fact that worked really well for me, I had a companion most of the time, but also got some private time, which was nice. Yes, people have to remember, I’m used to my own company most of the time, so on holiday, at times, its nice to have the same thing. To be honest, the first time, I wasnt sure how it would work out, being used to doing my own thing, but Kate and I worked well together, and when she suggested doing the same thing a year later, I jumped at the chance. And maybe in September, we will do it again, though not in New England, as regular readers know. And before anyone says anything, thats down to her work, and time issues, and nothing more. Indeed, she’s talked of coming up to Rochester for part of the week I’m there, though given the distance involved, I think she’s crazy if she does. But it would be lovely to see her all the same.

To be honest, there is only one period of time on holiday that I dont like being solo, and thats mealtimes, principally dinner. I know, I should be used to eating alone, and indeed am, but there is a difference between doing it at home, and eating out. Its just nice, at that point, to have someone to talk to about things, however inane, and just relax over a drink and a meal.

So, just saying, if anyone is in the area, or knows someone in the Rochester area, who wants to have a meal, and a chat with me while over there, then feel free to ask, it would be fun. No, I dont want a date, or for it to be treated as a date, just good conversation over a meal, even at Dennys, or Applebees or the like, I live on a budget remember! No, I dont promise to wear a posh dress, or high heels, but I will dress suitably, and hopefully be someone interesting to talk, and eat with, nothing more. No cost, other than your own meal, unless you’re offering lol!

Only thing to remember, for you, or anyone you suggest this to, I dont drive, so unless its on good public transport, or somewhere very close to the Airport (yes, I’m staying nearby), I will need a chauffeur! Given the area and things, I’d love to talk Louise Brooks with someone, but could happily chat on most things if pushed.

No, I wont wait to find a dinner companion lol, somehow.

The video, well it fits in slightly with this, and also as a reference point to Margaret Thatcher’s death this week, as the groups name is related to the unemployment crisis of that era

Shuffle off to Buffalo

Yes, a holiday piece lol.

Funny point, i’ve been to Buffalo once before, but never during daytime, and that was 25 years ago. Confused? its a long story.

It was 1988, my first ever trip to the US, with my partner of the time. We were over there, seeing her aunt in New England, and doing a tourist holiday combined. Anyway, one weekend, we decided we were going to head up to Niagara, just so we could say we’d been there. The silly thing, we didnt realise it was a US Bank Holiday weekend, looking at the dates this year, it must have been Labor Day weekend, I cant see any other it could have been.

Well, anyway, approaching Rochester (yes, there’s an irony), we decided it was about time to stop for the day. Thats when we discovered it was a Bank holiday weekend, all the hotels were full! Well, all the budget ones we tried were at least. We did do a brief trip down to see the lake, before heading on, thinking we’d soon find somewhere for the night. We didnt!

Eventually, after a couple of uncomfortable hours trying to sleep in the car, we ended up in Buffalo about 2 in the morning. A couple of coffees, and a quick walk round town later, we headed off to Niagara, arriving there about 6 in the morning. It was deserted, and no one manning the car park entrance. So we saw Niagara for free, and I got to see Bruce Smith (Bills star of the time) working out in the park! Finally, we had breakfast, confirmed there were no late returns for the Bills game, and started to head back, by passing Buffalo this time around. Finally, late lunchtime, we stopped, exhausted at a hotel on I-90, somewhere near Rochester, and crashed until the next morning. Well, she did, I watched the Bills match on TV, and then crashed until the morning lol!

So yes, 4 weeks from now, I’m planning a day trip to Buffalo, and I do mean daytime! It will have changed dramatically since then for sure, and beyond the tramway/railway running through the city, I dont remember a thing anyway. But yes, it will be a sweet memory, shuffling back to Buffalo after all this time, even if only for a day.

This is one of the changes to the original plans to this trip, I was originally going to stay in Buffalo, and visit Rochester instead. This was because someone I know through the forums was living near there, but he then moved back to Alabama, so I moved my base to Rochester instead.

Hey, the video! Well its only 80 years old lol, but that probably makes it about right for me? So, as I will be doing (though not married), they are shuffling off to Buffalo!